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12/1/09news article

Dayton Children’s and Kohl’s Department Stores offer injury prevention tips for parents: Growth and development linked to injury risk

Dayton Children's and Kohl's Department Stores offer injury prevention tips for parents

The Children's Medical Center of Dayton and Kohl's Department Stores, as a part of the Kohl's "A Minute for Kids" Campaign, encourage parents to take a moment and learn more about ways to protect their children from accidental injury. A crucial part of protecting your child from injury is understanding more about their growth and development.

"Growth and development includes not only the physical changes that occur from infancy to early teens, but also some of the changes in emotions, personality, behavior, thinking and speech that children develop as they begin to understand and interact with the world around them," says Eileen Kasten, MD, medical director of developmental pediatrics at Dayton Children's.

Understanding your infant and toddler's development is especially important because children in these age groups have a poor understanding of risks and danger. Their natural curiosity and impulsiveness, failure to appreciate danger and limited ability to handle more than one stimulus at a time puts them at increased risk for injury.

"Young children between 0 to 4 years are particularly susceptible to injury because they lack experience, strength and physical skill," says Dr. Kasten. "Children at this age are impulsive and don't have fear. They also tend to disappear quickly from a parent's view."

Dayton Children's and Kohl's Department Stores offer these tips to help protect your infant or toddler from accidental injury:

infancy (children 0 to 12 months)

Motor Vehicle Crashes

  • Use a rear-facing car seat until at least age 1 and a weight of 20 lbs. This is the safest option to support an infant's weak head, neck and back and prevent spinal cord injuries. Use a rear-facing car seat longer if the seat has a higher weight and height limits.


  • Supervise children at all time when they are near water. A supervised child is in sight at all times with your undivided attention focused on the child. Infants can die in less than one inch of water. Never leave your baby unattended in or near water, even for a second.

Unsafe Sleep Practices

  • Practice the ABCs of Safe Sleep. Infants should sleep Alone, on their Back and in a Crib. Make sure the crib is free from blankets, bumper pads, and stuffed animals and meets the Consumer Product Safety Commission's guidelines.

Shaken Baby Syndrome

  • Have a plan. Infants will cry, sometimes for prolonged periods of time, and it's important to plan how you will stay calm if you've tried everything and your baby is still crying. Take care of yourself so you can take care of your baby. Calming activities that can be part of your plan include breathing, going for a walk with your baby and talking to someone.

rarly childhood (children 1 to 4 years old)

Motor Vehicle Crashes

  • Use a forward-facing car seat until the harness no longer fits. The five-point harness will protect small children and keep them in place. Children's behavior in the car may also become distracting to the driver because they want to ride like older children or get bored.


  • Supervise children at all time when they are near water. A supervised child is in sight at all times with your undivided attention focused on the child. Don't leave toys in or near the pool, where they could attract unsupervised kids. For extra protection, consider a pool alarm and alarms on the doors, windows and gates leading to the pool.


  • Make the kitchen a child-free zone when someone is cooking. Children want to stay close to their parents, but their cognitive skills are not developed to recognize the danger of hot items or control their impulses. As children grow in height, they can reach the counter and front burners, but can't see what's in them. A child's skin burns deeper and quicker at lower temperatures than adult's skin.


  • Install stair and door gates. A toddler's increased mobility and active lifestyle put him/her at risk of falling down a staircase or wandering into areas of the home that are not child-safe.

special considerations: children with special needs

If your child has a special need consider these additional safety tips from Dayton Children's and Safe Kids Greater Dayton:

  • Beware of common dangers: Parents don't realize that young children can drown in less than inch of water, that drinking mouthwash can cause a young child to fall into an alcohol coma, or that children can fall out of a window that is only opened 5 inches. Make sure your child's environment is as safe as possible.
  • Use visuals reminders: The "Mr. Yuk" stickers from poison prevention centers prevent many tragedies for preschoolers and their parents. This same strategy can work for older children with ADHD, who tend to be developmentally immature and have poor memories. Use stickers with phrases such as "Don't Touch!" and "Off Limits!" Put them on the power tools, the attic door, the stove, the knife drawer or any other potential source of injury.
  • Make rules specific and clear: Give specific instructions instead: "Before crossing the street, look left, look right, then look left again. When there are no cars, cross the street and keep looking until you reach the other side." Establish exactly what's off limits: the quarry, the roof, the windowsill, the pool, the oak tree. Make a chart of specific safety rules and post it in your child's room and in the kitchen as a daily reminder.
  • Role play and rehearse: Develop and role-play risky scenarios with your kids Go over situations such as: "What do you do when the ball rolls into the street? What do you do when someone starts a fight with you on the playground?" Play out several options and review their possible consequences: "If you do that, what do you think might happen? What if you did this instead?" Help children be prepared for the dangerous situations they may encounter.
  • Arrange for supervision: Supervising ADHD kids is critical. Don't pair them with other ADHD kids and send them off to the park; send them with responsible older kids who can serve as role models and mentors. If you or another adult can't be around after school, enroll your kids in supervised activities such as music lessons and team sports.

For more information about Kohl's "A Minute for Kids" Campaign visit

About Kohl's Department Stores:
Based in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, Kohl's is a family-focused, value-oriented specialty department store offering moderately priced, exclusive and national brand apparel, shoes, accessories, beauty and home products in an exciting shopping environment. Kohl's operates 1,022 stores in 49. A company committed to the communities it serves, Kohl's has raised more than $126 million for children's initiatives nationwide through its Kohl's Cares for Kids philanthropic program, which operates under Kohl's Cares, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kohl's Department Stores, Inc. For a list of store locations and information, or for the added convenience of shopping online, visit

For more information, contact:
Marketing Communications Department
Phone: 937-641-3666